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Commemorating CDC's 60th Anniversary

This month marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of CDC, which was founded as the Communicable Disease Center on July 1, 1946, in Atlanta, Georgia (1). To commemorate this anniversary, MMWR is departing from its usual report format to present a series of commentaries by past directors and the current director of CDC. The directors were invited to give their personal perspectives on the key public health achievements and challenges that occurred during their tenures.

Reports from MMWR and the media have provided contemporary accounts of the events that shaped CDC over the years. Other histories have been researched by CDC authors (2) or drawn from interviews with staff members and partners whose achievements contributed to the CDC public health legacy (3,4). The unique views provided by CDC directors might reinforce these perspectives or reveal something much different.

This week's issue of MMWR contains the first Director's Perspective, written by David J. Sencer, who served as director of CDC during 1966--1977. Commentaries by other CDC directors will be published in the months ahead.


  1. CDC. Historical perspectives: history of CDC. MMWR 1996;45: 526--30.
  2. Thacker SB, Dannenberg AL, Hamilton DH. Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 50 years of training and service in applied epidemiology. Am J Epidemiol 2001;154:985--92.
  3. Etheridge EW. Sentinel for health: a history of the Centers for Disease Control. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press; 1992.
  4. McKenna M. Beating back the devil: on the frontlines with the disease detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster; 2004.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

Disclaimer   All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from ASCII text into HTML. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users should not rely on this HTML document, but are referred to the electronic PDF version and/or the original MMWR paper copy for the official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to

Date last reviewed: 7/13/2006


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